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Kanistanaux

Last updated Nov-2010
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Probable Origins & Usage


Spellings & Alternate Names


Places Family is Found


Earliest Occurrences of the Name


Notes

There were people living in and around Stockton, Chautauqua Co., NY during the late 1800s and early 1900s using the Kanistanaux family name that are very likely connected to our Metallic. Exactly which family members and how they are related to Metallic (c1746-1846) is still a great mystery due to a lack of good records.

Two Indian Doctresses known as Marleah Kanistanaux (1826-1906) and Dr. Lee-O-Netto (1846-aft.1900) both make claims of being Metallic descendants. Either Eli Moulton (1785-1876) or his wife Katie (c1785-1875), who were buried in Stockton NY, are most likely the connecting link. Eli Moulton is a name we also find in our local legends as having married Metallic's daughter. These various puzzle pieces suggest Katie, wife of Eli Moulton, could be a daughter of Metallic. However, without some reasonable documentation, the actual connection details are only speculation or educated hunches at best.

Marleah lived with Layton Kindness (1833-1910), a Pequot from Brothertown, NY, from the early 1870s until her death. Together they used the surname Kanistanaux. A number of others in the same area also used the surname Kanistanaux. Unfortunately there are not enough records to properly link all the various individuals together as a complete family unit. Yet, the name Kanistanaux appears to be unique to this group of people in Chautauqua County, New York.

In a biography published in the late 1800s, Dr. Lee-O-Netto was referred to as a Kanistanaux. We have not found her using Kanistanaux in any census, but there is other supporting evidence of a real connection to the Kanistanaux name.

An exact relationship between the two doctresses can not be established using the records we have located to date. They were approximately 20 years apart in age (based on census ages). They may have been sisters, mother and daughter, perhaps cousins, or perhaps unrelated, except by marriage. Perhaps only one of them was a direct descendant and the other one borrowed bits of the family story. Perhaps neither of the women were direct descendants, and both borrowed their story from another family member.

Our research turned up references to ancestors named "Mr-tal-ic-auk", "Matalio", and "Natalic" in late 1800s and early 1900s documents in addition to mentions of being from "tribes in Lower Canada" and the "Banikeen tribe". The two doctresses (and most family members) in question are clearly documented at various times in their lives as "Indian". Since these documents are all historical in nature (rather than modern creations) we believe they do demonstrate all members of the Kanistanaux group are at least part Native American by blood and the family has a connection to the Abenaki man known as Metallic. We simply can not accept it as mere coincidence that over 100 years ago someone fabricated this information with the results being so close to a historically known person from a different region. Clearly, some member of the Kanistanaux family knew of and shared the details of their connection to Metallic.

Both women in question were identified as "Indian Doctors" during the late 1800s in census and local histories. Some of the "Indian Doctors" of this time period were fakes or quacks, but many were genuine. However, even the genuine ones had a tendency to weave elaborate and fanciful stories about themselves as a marketing ploy to compete with the fakes and gain more customers. They were not dishonest people, but they were products of the time period. Everything had to be sensational. Indians (even real ones) had to be exotic or romanticized to be of interest to the white public.

A good example of this is Louis Belmont Newell. As a child, he is documented as a member of the Penobscot Tribe of Maine, but in later life he claimed to be Kiowa and named his business "The Kiowa Medicine Company and Vaudeville Show". We find him in Federal Census records over a period of many decades. In each census year he provides different information about his and his parents identity, presumably to fit with the story he was telling at that particular time in history. The stories were part of the show and marketing aids, nothing more.

So, when Marleah claims things in her advertising brochure and Dr. Lee-O-Netto gives biographical information to a local historian, we should not assume this information is reliable simply because it came directly from them. We have to realize it was an important part of their marketing and at best only vaguely based in truth.

Despite the clear association of the name Metallic with the two Doctresses of the Kanistanaux family, the lack of records leaves far too many questions blocking the way to proper confirmation.

Here are a few of our key concerns (besides the lack of good records!)


Our research efforts suggest it is reasonable to believe some member of the Kanistanaux family group descends from the Abenaki man known as Metallic and the name, Eli Moulton, certainly appears to be the link between the two family names.

Our research is on going and we would be grateful to hear from anyone who has another piece of the puzzle to share.


Biographies, Photos, Artifacts, Genealogies, etc.

Written & Researched by: Canyon Wolf for Ne-Do-Ba

Special thanks to Dolores Davidson and Caroline K. Andler for sharing their research notes with us.
Learn More:
Metallic
Moulton